Winding roads leading through dense forests, world-class restaurants serving traditional cuisine with a modern take, and renowned hotels offering a sense of place – this is what makes up a trip to the Black Forest along the “Route du Bonheur.”
Known worldwide for its classic luscious cake and cult cuckoo clocks, southern Germany’s Black Forest attracts visitors with its mountainous landscape and relaxing energy. On the “Route du Bonheur,” you’ll pass the Hotel Dollenberg and the Hotel Bareiss, two longstanding luxury establishments to delight nature lovers and gourmets alike.
At Hotel Dollenberg in Bad Peterstal, you’ll find yourself tucked in a small valley with stunning sunset views; the 17-acre grounds invite guests to explore the area on foot. Later, Chef Martin Herrmann of the two-star Le Pavillon restaurant nourishes body and soul after a day outdoors.
Sourcing ingredients from nearby towns and rivers, his philosophy is clear: “We use many local products. Asparagus in spring, strawberries in summer, venison and chanterelles in autumn, lamb’s lettuce in winter.”
But what makes Black Forest cuisine so special? “In the past, the Alsatians, Badeners, and northern Swiss belonged to the Alemanni and they always enjoyed their food and drink. The importance given food quality is just as true today,” says Hermann. On Tuesdays, there’s a kitchen party, when guests can watch dishes being prepared and taste their way through the menu while listening to live music.
After a 30-minute drive through the forest from Hotel Dollenberg, you’ll arrive at Hotel Bareiss. With its own three-star restaurant, the hotel attributes Baiersbronn’s popularity to its being the village with the highest density of Michelin stars in Germany.
“Our cuisine is very traditional, but interpreted with contemporary flair. We focus on flavor, we always ensure the dishes taste good and, only then, that they look good, too,” says Chef Claus-Peter Lumpp about his unpretentious approach.
The success of the Hotel Bareiss, with origins dating back to 1951, lies in the deeply rooted regionalism, from the hotel’s trout farm to the local pub where regulars and visitors mingle. And this is just what makes the Black Forest so uniquely appealing.